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Advice against Health Hazards

Foods that fight high cholesterol

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.Some cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are 5 of those foods:

Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.

Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

 

Foods fortified with sterols and stanols:  Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are now adding them to a wide variety of foods. They’re also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.

Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

 

Resources:
Harvard Health Publications
Harvard Medical School

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News on Health & Science

Dark chocolate ‘not so healthy’

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For those of you tucking into dark chocolate this Christmas using the excuse it is good for you, think again.

Studies have suggested dark chocolate is good for the heart

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A top medical journal said any health claims about plain chocolate may be misleading.

Plain chocolate is naturally rich in flavanols, plant chemicals that are believed to protect the heart.

But an editorial in the Lancet points out that many manufacturers remove flavanols because of their bitter taste.

Instead, many products may just be abundant in fat and sugar – both of which are harmful to the heart and arteries, the journal reported.

Previous studies have suggested that plain chocolate can help protect the heart, lower blood pressure and aid tiredness.

But the Lancet said: “Dark chocolate can be deceptive.

When chocolate manufacturers make confectionery, the natural cocoa solids can be darkened and the flavanols, which are bitter, removed, so even a dark-looking chocolate can have no flavanol.

“Consumers are also kept in the dark about the flavanol content of chocolate because manufacturers rarely label their products with this information.”

And the journal also pointed out that even with flavanols present, chocolate-lovers should be mindful of the other contents.

“The devil in the dark chocolate is the fat, sugar and calories it also contains.

“To gain any health benefit, those who eat a moderate amount of flavanol-rich dark chocolate will have to balance the calories by reducing their intake of other foods – a tricky job for even the most ardent calorie counter.

“So, with the holiday season upon us, it might be worth getting familiar with the calories in a bar of dark chocolate versus a mince pie and having a calculator at hand.”

Click to see:-
Chocolate ‘lowers’ blood pressure
03 Jul ’07 |BBC NEWS , Health

Chocolate ‘cuts blood clot risk’
15 Nov ’06 |BBC NEWS , Health

Chocolate trial on heart patients
10 Apr ’06 |BBC NEWS , Health

Chocolate ‘has health benefits’
22 Mar ’05 |BBC NEWS , Health

Chocolate may cut heart disease
20 Dec 05 | BBC NEWS, Health

Dark chocolate may be healthier
27 Aug 03 |BBC NEWS, Health

Chocolate ‘is good for you’
06 Aug 99 |BBC NEWS, Health

Sources: BBC NEWS ,25th. Dec’07